The Burgs Summer Olympics series: Archery
The 2012 Summer Olympics kick off today in London.
Thousands of athletes from across the world will test their skills in sports such as diving, wrestling, track and field,
volleyball and even badminton.
We turned to local athletes who specialize in these sports, asking them for tips and what to look for during the epic event.
DESCRIPTION: The object of the sport is simple: to shoot arrows as close to the center of a target as possible. Olympic archery targets are 122 centimeters in diameter, with the gold ring at the center (worth a maximum 10 points) measuring just 12.2 centimeters. Athletes shoot at the target from a distance of 70 meters. Athletes compete with recurve bows, distinctive as the limbs curve outward at the top.
Men and women compete separately, both as individuals and in teams of three.
HISTORY: Archery made its Olympic debut at Paris 1900, was dropped from the program after the London 1908 games, and then returned for a single appearance in 1920. After a 52-year gap, the sport was reintroduced at Munich 1972 and has remained on the Olympic program ever since.
COMPETITION DATES: Today- Aug. 3
– Source: london2012.com
LOCAL ATHLETE: Lucas Kenley, 14, Riner
EXPERIENCE: Kenley has been shooting competitively for eight years. He took first place the 2012 youth division of the National Field Archery Association National Championships, as well as first place in the 2009 Cub Division title in the NFAA outdoor Championships.
Q: What do you enjoy about archery?
A: Mostly just getting outdoors. Meeting a lot of people, carrying on long friendships with the people you meet. It’s real enjoyable just to get outside and get close to nature and kind of get a little exercise in there. But mostly, just being around people you like and people that are good friends.
Q: What advice would you give to an Olympic archer?
A: The adrenaline is why you do it and why you enjoy it. It is nerve-racking, but it’s also what makes it fun. Mostly just to enjoy it because there’s not many things that will make you feel that way.
You have to practice a lot leading up, working on your form and things like that. You have to really concentrate on doing what you know how to do and not getting away from how you know, how you can do.
Q: What is something viewers should be looking for during the event?
A: Compound archery as of right now is not an Olympic sport, but there [is] what’s called a recurve bow. It doesn’t have the cams that are on the compound bow. A recurve bow is generally a lot longer, some people call it a stick and a string. There are a lot of excellent shooters.
The distances can be anywhere from 50 to 90 meters. They’ll have team competitions and then individuals. And it’s pretty much just brackets that you go by.
You can really tell by how a person is shooting by their emotion. … If you can get on a roll, some people generally tend to get excited about it. You tend to get down on yourself if you’re not performing as you think you should. And also, I’m guessing they’re shooting in an open field, but in competitions like that, there’s a lot of wind and it makes it a lot more difficult.
There’s a lot of different scoring and different target faces [within archery competitions]. At the Olympics, they shoot all their arrows at the same distance and then move to a different [target].
The scoring rings are three or four different colors, and I think it goes from 10 all the way down to zero. Their targets are a lot larger.
Some people have different ways of going about it. I personally don’t breathe when I shoot. Some people shoot with one eye closed, both eyes open. I shoot with both eyes open.
The Roanoke Times | 381-1643
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